Herron Island

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Herron Island
Herron Island is located in Washington (state)
Herron Island
Herron Island
Location of Herron Island within the state of Washington
LocationCase Inlet
Coordinates47°15′54″N 122°50′07″W / 47.26500°N 122.83528°W / 47.26500; -122.83528Coordinates: 47°15′54″N 122°50′07″W / 47.26500°N 122.83528°W / 47.26500; -122.83528
Area1.2326 km2 (0.4759 sq mi)
United States
Population152 (2000)
Additional information
Official websitewww.herronisland.org

Herron Island is an island in central Case Inlet in the southern part of Puget Sound in the U.S. state of Washington. The Pierce County island has a land area of 1.2326 km² (304.57 acres) and a population of 152 persons as of the 2000 census.

Herron Island is one of the few privately owned islands in Puget Sound. All access to the island is by boat, mostly aboard the HMC ferry, the "Charlie Wells", and a guest pass signed by an HMC member is necessary to board the ferry. The island is 1.25 miles (2.01 km) long, and 1/2 mile (800 m) across.

Corporate properties include the North Beach Park and small boat docks, the South Beach (undeveloped), roads and rights of way, Goodpastor Park and adjacent wetlands, Community Building and Fire Station, water system, ferry and ferry docks, as well as numerous greenbelt lots throughout the island. All other land is privately owned. Ownership of waterfront lots includes the tidelands down to the mean sea level.


Herron Island was named by Charles Wilkes during the Wilkes Expedition of 1838-1842, to honor Lewis Herron, the expedition's cooper.[1]

Herron Island is a completely private island. It was incorporated on April 30, 1958, as Herron Maintenance Co. (HMC), a non-profit, non-stock Washington corporation consisting of the owners and purchasers of property on Herron Island. HMC is governed by its ByLaws and administered by an unsalaried Board of Trustees elected annually from the membership. The Board is responsible for overseeing the operations and maintenance of the corporation's properties, and establishing a balanced budget to fund these operations. Herron Island is funded solely by annual and special assessments paid by the members and by the ferry fee.


Lieutenant Peter Puget, under the command of Captain George Vancouver, explored what is now known as Case Inlet in Puget Sound, in May, 1792. On the 23rd of May, the sailors didn't get underway until 8:00 AM, much later than usual, due to the very heavy fog in the area. Because a new group of Indians was encountered at the mouth of the Nisqually river, and Lt. Puget didn't know whether they were friendly or not, the ship delayed landing until 2:00 PM that afternoon. Just after the landing, another squall, with heavy rains and wind gusts, prevented them from proceeding any further that day.

The tiny island they landed upon was dubbed "Wednesday Island". It was actually Tuesday here, but the Vancouver expedition used "England time" throughout their explorations.

The ship's botanist, Archibald Menzies, whose job it was to explore every place they landed, refused to venture from the landing site to collect soil and botanical specimens, due to the heavy rain and wind.


In 1841, Lieutenant Charles Wilkes of the United States Navy, re-explored, re-charted (and frequently renamed) the islands of Puget Sound.

Large and important islands were renamed for his most important sailors. Smaller islands were renamed for his lesser sailors. Lt. Wilkes renamed Wednesday Island for Seaman Herron. Little is known about our namesake, except some rumors that we decline to believe. In any case, we salute Seaman Herron - we think he'd be proud of what we've done with his little island.


  1. ^ Phillips, James W. (1971). Washington State Place Names. University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-95158-3.

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